If one believes that vegetarianism is morally obligatory, there are numerous ways to argue for that conclusion. In this paper, classic utilitarian and rights-based attempts to ground this obligation are considered, as well as Cora Diamond’s reframing of the debate in terms of the proper way to view other animals. After discussion of these three ways to ground the obligation and their problems, an attitude-based approach inspired by Diamond’s view (though different from it in important ways) is advanced. It is argued that such a view, by focusing moral attention on the attitudes of agents as opposed to the actions they undertake, captures the important insights of all three views, while offering a better grounding for the obligation. This view is superior in that it (1) succeeds in explaining the wrongness of a problem case, (2) without committing one to rights or to a troublingly subjective understanding of moral concepts.
Between the Species:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bts/vol17/iss1/3